ACEA Biosciences, Inc. Awarded a ToxCast Contract by U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to Screen and Classify Toxic Environmental Chemicals using its RT-CES®System

13 Apr 2007
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ACEA Biosciences, Inc., a San Diego-based developer of advanced microelectronic systems for cell based assays, announced today that it has been awarded a contract from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of the Agency's ToxCast Program which is designed to identify toxic and potentially toxic environmental chemicals.

In the contract award, which may run for up to 5 years, ACEA's RT-CES® System will be used to analyze and classify as many as 10,000 specific chemicals in the ToxCast Chemical library. The specific dollar value of the award will depend on the actual number of compounds tested during the contract period.

ACEA will use its label-free, real time microelectronic cell based assay technology to monitor live cells in culture, and will measure and profile altered cellular physiology/pathology in response to precisely controlled exposure of the cells to potential and known environmental toxicants. According to Dr. James O'Connell, ACEA Bioscience's CEO: "This contract provides an important validation of the basic idea behind ACEA's microelectronic technology - and that is our ability to measure a variety of kinetic parameters that correlate with the cell's overall health. We simply do not measure viability of the test cells, but rather, we examine a number of important factors that relate to the status of the test cells as they are exposed to the potentially toxic materials. Variations in cell adhesion, changes in morphology, increased rates of proliferation, and other subtle and transient changes in cell physiology - which we refer to as "live cell kinetics" - are accurately detected in real time and without any potentially interfering labels or reporters by the RT-CES® microelectronic system. We believe that this expanded data base of the ToxCast Library will be of exceptional value to the environmental toxicology community."

Dr. Xiao Xu, ACEA Bioscience's President stated "We know that the award process was very competitive and we are very proud to have been selected by the EPA for such an important program. We are confident that our RT-CES technology will prove to be an important addition to the EPA's on going search for improved ways to protect our environment, and we look forward to working with the Agency throughout the course of the contract award."

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